Economics and Philosophy at Aberdeen gets to grips with the global economy, exploring the many factors that influence wealth from a social and financial perspective – and which raises issues and questions to which philosophy seeks to find answers. Combined with your economics and business knowledge, the intellectual skills you will develop and their transferability will make you a very attractive graduate with very wide career options, including in business.
This programme is studied on campus.
In Economics, you'll explore the microeconomics of business and society, macroeconomics of the world economy and economic problems in political, social and historical contexts, with a strong emphasis on applied learning. You will thrive in the dynamic, international environment of our Business School of 45 nationalities and be taught by experts including leading petroleum economist and government adviser Professor Alex Kemp and our health economists whose work influences Scottish and UK policy decisions on public health.
Philosophers attempt to answer questions such as: What is knowledge? What is the nature of truth? Why should we act morally? Philosophy is just as much the study of reasoning and argument as it is the application of thought to specific problems. What makes Philosophy at Aberdeen especially attractive is the breadth of courses, the user-friendly materials you will use and the experts who will teach you. In your first year alone you will study topics such as How Should One Live? Controversial Questions and Experience, Knowledge and Reality.
The knowledge and skills you will develop in economics, critical thinking, analysis and research from this subject combination will make you very attractive to employers across a range of sectors from business of all sizes to public sector, local and national government, enterprise organisations, media, advertising and marketing.
Key Programme Information
At a Glance
- Learning Mode
- On Campus Learning
- Degree Qualification
- 48 months
- Study Mode
- Full Time
- Start Month
- UCAS Code
What You'll Study
- Year 1
- The Economics of Business and Society (EC1006) - 15 Credit Points
This course is an introductory course in microeconomics where we study the decision making of individual actors (consumers, employees, firms, governments, etc.) in an economy. Actors must make decisions about behaviours because they face scarce resources, but often they find that trading with other actors in markets can increase the wellbeing of all parties. This course models and examines the nature of these interactions, highlighting when they work well and when they fail to increase wellbeing and what might be the solution to these failures.
- The Global Economy (EC1506) - 15 Credit Points
This course is an introductory course in macroeconomics where we study the behaviour of the economy as a whole. Whereas microeconomics focuses on individual markets, macroeconomics addresses the “big issues” such as unemployment, inflation, economic growth, and financial crises. Macroeconomics is a lively subject, full of discussion and debate, as economists and policymakers take different views on macroeconomic issues, their causes and appropriate policy responses. Issues such as: Is the economy growing? What causes unemployment and how can we reduce it? How can we avoid recessions? When is inflation a problem? Are banks lending too much?
- Academic Writing for Divinity, History & Philosophy (AW1007)
This compulsory evaluation is designed to find out if your academic writing is of a sufficient standard to enable you to succeed at university and, if you need it, to provide support to improve. It is completed on-line via MyAberdeen with clear instructions to guide you through it. If you pass the evaluation at the first assessment it will not take much of your time. If you do not, you will be provided with resources to help you improve. This evaluation does not carry credits but if you do not complete it this will be recorded on your degree transcript.
- Professional Skills Part 1 (PD1001)
This course, which is prescribed for level 1 students and optional for level 2 students, is studied entirely online and covers topics relating to careers and employability, equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing. During the course you will learn about the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes, how they are relevant to you and the opportunities available to develop your skills and attributes alongside your University studies. You will also gain an understanding of equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing issues. Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’ (non-completion will be recorded as ‘Not Achieved’). The course takes approximately 3 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks and it will be available to you throughout the academic year.
This course, which is prescribed for level 1 students and optional for level 2 students and above, is studied entirely online and covers topics relating to careers and employability, equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing. During the course you will learn about the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes, how they are relevant to you and the opportunities available to develop your skills and attributes alongside your University studies. You will also gain an understanding of equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing issues. Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’ (non-completion will be recorded as ‘Not Achieved’). The course takes approximately 3 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks and it will be available to you throughout the academic year.
- Experience, Knowledge and Reality (PH1023) - 15 Credit Points
How “real” is reality? How does the mind relate to the world? This course introduces two approaches to answering these questions: rationalism and empiricism. By Rene Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy, we learn about Descartes’ rationalist approach to knowledge, reality, mind-body dualism, and God’s necessary existence. Through David Hume’s Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding see how Hume grounds knowledge in experience. We read Hume on impressions and ideas, induction, causality, miracles and critically compare and examine Descartes’ and Hume’s arguments by drawing on readers and critics. Download Course Guide
Select at least one of the following:
- PH1027: Controversial Questions
- PH1522: How Should One Live?
Plus, select further credit points from courses of choice to a total of 120 credits
- Controversial Questions (PH1027) - 15 Credit Points
Watch this course video! We examine questions such as: Is eating animals immoral? Is being a good or bad person a matter of luck? If so, are we justified in punishing bad people? Should anyone be able to set limits on what you can do with your own body, even if it's ‘for your own good’? Should everyone be allowed to state their mind, even if their views are harmful or offensive? Is censorship ever justifiable? Do you have a moral obligation to help those worse-off? Are you unknowingly biased against underprivileged groups? Download Course Guide
- How Should One Live? (PH1522) - 15 Credit Points
Why do the morally right thing when you have much more to gain by doing evil and know you could get away with it? Should you save five lives even if this requires you to kill someone in exchange for them? Would you lie on the witness stand to protect your guilty mother from life in prison? We will read and discuss responses to these questions that have been presented in both historical and contemporary texts, including those by Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, Kant, John Stuart Mill, Bernard Williams, Judith Thomson, Shelly Kagan, and T.M. Scanlon.
- Year 2
- Intermediate Microeconomics (EC2003) - 30 Credit Points
This course builds on and is a natural extension of EC 1006. By examining in a more rigorous way concepts introduced in EC 1006 students will develop further their analytical skills and they will obtain a better understanding of consumers and producers behaviour, market structure as well as the effectiveness of economic policy. The course is designed to appeal to all students interested in economics. This includes students who may wish not to enter into any further studies of economics, as well as students who may wish to continue studying economics at the honours level.
- Intermediate Macroeconomics (EC2503) - 30 Credit Points
This course focuses on macroeconomic policy in a global economy. The first part builds an open-economy Keynesian model to investigate what determines the effectiveness of fiscal and monetary policies, and how exchange rate regimes and capital mobility impact on policy effectiveness. The second part investigates what determines the level of macroeconomic activity and its growth over time. The final part looks at what determines inflation and unemployment. This intermediate level course uses live lectures to develop your analytical skills evaluating economic policy in a rigorous and technical way to equip you with the skills needed for honours level study.
- Gender Equality (PH2535) - 15 Credit Points
For a course description, watch this brief video!
In recent times equality among genders has attracted increasing attention. This is no longer a matter of concern to a fringe movement, but a central issue to contemporary society. In this course we will examine some of the crucial issues in the debate and assess the merits of key arguments. The topics we’ll discuss include the gender pay gap, the underrepresentation of women in positions of power and popular culture, pornography, abortion, the objectification of women, gender equality in sports, and epistemic injustice.
- What We are: Mind in A Physical World (PH201B) - 15 Credit Points
Watch the course video! In this course we explore a series of arguments which suggest that it is hard to fit the mind into the physical world. In particular, we focus on three topics: the Mind/Body Problem, Free Will and Determinism, and Personal Identity. Each topic starts with an argument which suggests that we are not merely physical entities like brains, the central nervous system or other biological entities. Taken together, these arguments offer a serious challenge to the view that we can explain human cognition in terms of the physical characteristics of human brains and bodies. Download Course Guide
- Metaphysics, Epistemology and Language (PH2538)
- Select a further 15 credit points from courses of choice
- 45-60 of level 2 philosophy courses
- Year 3
- Select 60 credit points from level 3 courses in Economics
- Select a further 60 credit points from level 3 courses in Philosophy
- Year 4
- Economics Dissertation (EC4526)
- Select a further 30 credit points from level 4 courses in Economics
- Select a further 60 credit points from level 3 and 4 courses in Philosophy
- Philosophy Dissertation (PH402D)
- Select a further 60 credit points from level 4 courses in Economics
- Select a further 30 credit points from level 3 and 4 courses in Philosophy
- Economics Dissertation (EC4526) - 30 Credit Points
The dissertation presents students with the opportunity to apply their knowledge and research skills of Economics to an individual piece of research, focusing on a topic which has been chosen by the student and approved by the Dissertation coordinator and Dissertation supervisor. Over the course of the Dissertation, with guidance from the supervisor, the student will study a particular topic, conduct a literature review of relevant material, select appropriate theoretical and/or empirical methods to address the topic and write a final analysis in the form of the Dissertation of up to 10,000 words.
- Philosophy Dissertation (PH402D) - 30 Credit Points
The dissertation is on a topic in philosophy. The specific topic will be chosen by the student with the approval of the supervisor. The choice of topics is restricted insofar as it must fall within the teaching competence of the supervisor. Download Course Guide
We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.
How You'll Study
- Individual Projects
Students are assessed by any combination of three assessment methods:
- Coursework such as essays and reports completed throughout the course.
- Practical assessments of the skills and competencies they learn on the course.
- Written examinations at the end of each course.
The exact mix of these methods differs between subject areas, years of study and individual courses.
Honours projects are typically assessed on the basis of a written dissertation.
- View detailed learning and assessment information for this programme
How the programme is taught
The typical time spent in scheduled learning activities (lectures, tutorials, seminars, practicals), independent self-study or placement is shown for each year of the programme based on the most popular course choices selected by students.
How the programme is assessed
The typical percentage of assessment methods broken down by written examination, coursework or practical exams is shown for each year of the programme based on the most popular course choices selected by students.
Learning Methodscheduled: 23%
Learning Methodscheduled: 11%
Learning Methodscheduled: 12%
Learning Methodscheduled: 4%
Why Study Economics and Philosophy?
- An excellent teaching environment, committed to the needs of industry, which integrates research in to teaching, grows transferable skills and develops intellectual skills on a range of contemporary economic problems.
- A thriving Economics Society, organising annual trips to international economic institutions including the European Union in Brussels, the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris.
- Enterprise Campus, a new initiative to nurture entrepreneurial skills and support students wanting to progress their own business ideas.
- ACREEF (the Aberdeen Centre for Research in Energy Economics and Finance) headed by leading international petroleum economist and author Professor Alex Kemp, adviser to the Scottish Government.
- Home to CELMR (the Centre for European Labour Market Research) which leads research in education, skills and labour markets so topical today.
- The spectacular, award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library, with brilliant study facilities, state-of-the-art learning technology, and an extensive collection of reference books, journals and other media for economics and business studies.
- A packed campus programme of student, public and business events, and the annual May Festival attracting internationally acclaimed public figures, business leaders, authors and broadcasters to debate critical challenges in the world today.
- Experience the Bloomberg Terminal, a software platform that provides real-time and historical data, market-moving news and analytics to help leading business and financial professional make better informed investment decisions.
- Ranked top in Scotland for teaching and course content in the last National Student Survey.
- Famous philosophers who worked at the University include Thomas Reid, founder of the 18th century Scottish School of Common Sense Philosophy, and Alexander Bain, who helped lay the foundations for modern scientific psychology.
- The Aberdeen Philosophy in Education Group (APEG), which is unique in Scotland, trains students to discuss philosophical questions with local primary and secondary school pupils.
- Café Philosophique brings philosophers and the local community together, using popular films and novels to explore philosophical puzzles in an informal atmosphere.
- The Centre for the History and Philosophy of Science, Technology and Medicine acts as the focus for research, teaching and engagement in the history, philosophy, ethics, literature and museology of science, technology and medicine.
- The spectacular, award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library offers superb collections, including early printed works of natural philosophy and medicine, the archives of Thomas Reid, and records of the Aberdeen Philosophical Society.
- We offer a packed programme of public events, lectures and debates, including the annual May Festival, which attracts high profile scientists, scholars, authors, actors and broadcasters discussing and debating the big issues of today.
- The skills you learn in Philosophy—for example, to think and write clearly, to explain complex ideas, to challenge orthodoxy—lend themselves to many careers.
- Studying Philosophy will change how you think about things and how you approach lifeâ€™s challenges.
- Philosophy is interesting! Students from all disciplines often report that studying Philosophy was the most rewarding experience of their studies.
The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.
General Entry Requirements
- 2018 Entry
- 2019 Entry
SQA Highers - AABB
A Levels - BBB
National 5/ S Grade/ GCSE - Maths
IB - 32 points, 15 points at HL
ILC - 5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3 OR AAABB, obtained in a single sitting. (B must be at B2 or above)
For Joint Honours Economics and Mathematics, SQA higher or GCE A Level or equivalent qualification in Mathematics is required.
Standard Offer: AABB - BBB
Applicants who have achieved between AABB - BBB are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers / Advanced Highers may be required in order to receive an offer of admission.
Adjusted / Access Threshold: BB (or below)
Applicants who have achieved BB, and who meet one or more Widening Participation criteria, are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers / Advanced Highers will be required in order to receive an offer of admission.
Standard offer: BBB
Adjusted / Access Threshold: BB (or below)
32 points, including 5, 5, 5 at HL.
Irish Leaving Certificate
5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3 OR AAABB, obtained in a single sitting. (B must be at B2 or above)
National 5/ S Grade/ GCSE- Maths
Further detailed entry requirements for Arts and Social Sciences degrees.
English Language Requirements
To study for an Undergraduate degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:
OVERALL - 6.0 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 5.5; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0
OVERALL - 78 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21
OVERALL - 54 with: Listening - 51; Reading - 51; Speaking - 51; Writing - 54
Cambridge English Advanced & Proficiency:
OVERALL - 169 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 162; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169
Fees and Funding
You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.
For international students (all non-EU students) the tuition fee charged upon entry will apply to all years of study; however, most international students will be eligible for a fee waiver in their final year via the International Undergraduate Scholarship.
Most RUK students (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) on a four year honours degree will be eligible for a full-fees waiver in their final year. Scholarships and other sources of funding are also available.
|Home / EU||£1,820|
|Students Admitted in 2019/20|
|Students Admitted in 2019/20|
International non-EU Applicants
- In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
- For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.
Our Funding Database
View all funding options in our Funding Database.
There are many opportunities at the University of Aberdeen to develop your knowledge, gain experience and build a competitive set of skills to enhance your employability. This is essential for your future career success. The Careers Service can help you to plan your career and support your choices throughout your time with us, from first to final year – and beyond.
Information About Staff Changes
You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.
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